Noodles And Other Foods I Love To Blog About Archive

The Immortal Olive

Posted February 7, 2019 By kmarrs

Over the weekend I asked Tumblr if an olive was a fruit. I got a few responses and some general conversation that affirmed, yes it is a fruit. It has a stone pit in its center, that qualifies, as far a botanical definitions go.

I then followed up with the suggestion that this in fact made olive oil, juice, and invited people to discuss.

That’s when things got out of hand.

I’m not going to spoil for you all the many directions this conversation went in. There are over 2,000 notes, at the time of typing this Sunday night, and most of them are golden.

So what I will do is link you to the starter post and let you explore the notes as you please. Or you can just read my tumblr from that time period, if that is easier for you. I was very involved in the conversation and managed to capture most of the high points.

Here is where it began.

What you do with this knowledge is up to you!

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Allergies

Posted January 31, 2019 By kmarrs

When I was pregnant with Thomas, 16 years ago, I developed an apple allergy. I go into full anaphylactic shock.

Over the past year or two, while my body has been otherwise failing me physically (more on that to come) I’ve been also developing new and exciting allergies as well. The one we’ve been able to pin down is spaghetti sauce. But we ruled out, on our own, that it wasn’t the tomatoes, mushrooms, parsley, oregano, or, basil. So about a year ago, I went to see an allergist. The following is pulled from my tumblr from the next day.

“So I went to the allergist yesterday for allergy testing.  See as an adult I’ve developed an allergy to apples (awhile back though it’s gotten much worse in recent years) and very recently Prego pasta sauce.  Both make my throat swell closed.  

Now I can avoid both, but what is it about the Prego that sets me off, was the million dollar question.  See, with some careful experimentation we ruled out tomatoes, mushrooms and your more common herbs that would be used in a pasta sauce.  I mean fully ruled out.  We’ve since switched to Kroger brand red sauce and I can eat it just fine.  Tons of it.  We also buy Stouffer’s lasagna and I also eat that just fine.  A few other red sauce things, just fine.  It’s only Prego brand sauce.  So what’s in Prego that isn’t in the others?  Is it how they preserve it?  Also, the label is no help.  So my doctor referred me to the allergist.

“So you think your throat swells,” this brilliant doctor asks.

“Well, my throat becomes tight, I can’t breathe very good, and I have a lot of trouble swallowing.”

Like I said, you /think/ your throat swells.”

He proceeded to confirm I have no trouble with tomatoes.  No trouble with mushrooms.  Proceeded to confirm we use basil, oregano, and parsley all the time, no trouble.

So what does he test me for?

Tomatoes, mushrooms, basil, oregano, and parsley.  Nothing else.  Not a damn thing else.

Like fam, I’m not saying there is a test specifically for the preservatives used by Prego, but come on.  There has to have been other options than the common ingredients that I, on my damn own, completely ruled out and stated as such.  Red pasta sauce is a staple of my diet.  I love mushrooms and eat them all the time.  Pat seasons a lot of things with those exact herbs,  If any of that gave me trouble, we’d know by now.

What the FUCK was the point of going to that office, I cry, beg, and ask.  What did I even learn?

His professional advice?  Stay away from Prego and apples.

Yeah.  Really?  Because I look forward to using my EpiPen.  That’s an experience to be cherished.

And whatever this mystery ingredient is, I guess I just have to hope not to run into it again.

Oh!  OH!

He did offer, very matter of factly, that if I wanted to bring in some Prego, he’d test me for that to see if I was allergic to it or not.

Because, after all, I only think my throat swells shut.

I must also be imagining that tightness in my chest that comes with it.  And all the other classic symptoms of Anaphylactic Shock.

*sigh*

I knew I needed a second opinion from someone who wouldn’t gaslight me, but I was not in a good place so I put that off a bit and continued to narrow down, on my own, what I was allergic to, with EpiPen in hand.

In time, I realized I was allergic to all jarred pasta sauce, and even some pizza sauce. But it remained true, that it wasn’t the tomatoes, mushrooms, basil, parsley, or oregano.

Pat eventually made his grandmother’s red sauce from scratch, otherwise using all the same ingredients, and I ate SO MUCH of it and did not have a reaction. Not even a hint of one. This has led us to hypothesize that it’s the preservative I’m allergic to.

So it was time to go to a different allergist and get that second opinion.

I was there bright and early Friday morning. I explained everything, including the failed allergist appointment the year prior, to the doctor and just preyed that she would be different.

And OMG. That was one of the most validating appointments with a doctor I’ve ever had. She came for my life and then validated every tiny bit of it.

Now she was honest, and confirmed what I kind of suspected, that there was no test for the preservatives. But she listened to everything and declared it both not unheard of, and the probable source of trouble.

Then she did full allergy testing on all the usual suspects.

The first, interesting thing to note, is that I’m not actually allergic to apples. Not even a little. I’m apparently allergic to birch which cross pollinates with apples, and therefore I have the reaction. Of course, because of this, all apples are now suspect and I still can’t eat apples, but it’s not the apple’s fault. Everyone else finds this hilarious. I’m… bitter.

I’m apparently also allergic to dogs. I’ve just failed to ever notice it.

Something, something pollen and ragweed and shit that will cause reactions in the fall when everything is dying, which I basically already knew and had told her about. But it was good to have that validated.

She had also decided, before she even did any testing, that she was going to put me on an antihistamine. The goal being to calm my body down some. However, the tests did confirm that was a good idea.

There were no other reactions of note. So while there are other undetermined things at this time that I’m allergic to, they aren’t anything that’s going to show up on a test. Just like that preservative. So all I can do, really, is keep a journal of sorts and track what I eat that causes a reaction.

And keep my EpiPen on me.

So that is basically that.

On Monday the 4th we’ll talk about my anemia. That’s been a bit of a bumpy ride too. But I’ll fill you all in, in a few days.

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Borderline Personality Disorder BPDI’m having a few girlfriends (not that type of girlfriend) over in a few hours and we’re getting out fancy on!  The invite says formal wear and we’re going to dress to the Nine’s, I tell you.  Then my husband is going to serve us fancy philly crab cakes and pasta salad.  And two of the girls are going to surprise us with dessert.  And I’m super excited!  If all goes well, we’ll do this a few times a year.

I’m excited for my sister to get to know my friends.  I’m excited for my friend Anna to get to know the rest of my little circle.  There is only 5 of us, but I like it that way.  I trust and love them all dearly for loving me just how I am.

I’m so excited to play dress up with them tonight!

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With Great Stupidity

Posted March 27, 2013 By kmarrs

I woke up in the early hours with a sword through my chest.  Swear to The Almighty He Who Is Or Isn’t that while it may have not been visible, it was there.  It started from the front, over the center of my chest, plunged through, and out through my spine.  Oddly, I think my spine hurt the most.  But nothing felt awesome.  I was nauseous.  I was dizzy.  I had indigestion like I’d eaten the whole damn chicken, feathers beak and all, and not just some of its breast hours earlier.

This wasn’t the first time.  Each time I half asleep panic that I’m having a heart attack.  Each time I tell myself I’m not even 30, I drink some pink stuff, and I curse my body for about an hour when *poof* it is magically gone, as quickly as it came.  Fine.  Fine.  Sleep.  Sleep.  2AM DYING.  DYING. DYING.  3AM fine.  Sleep.  Sleep.

My body only does this in the dead of night when I’m in a sound sleep that the roof caving in couldn’t wake me from.

Clearly not a heart attack.  I’d be dead by now.

This last time I got curious and Googled the symptoms for a heart attack.  Oh.

Age ranges?  Well, do you have a heart?

Twitter, does it realistically happen to those under 30?  Oh, you know someone personally who died from one when they were 14?  Awesome.

Then oh hey, about 12 hours later, ok more like 10, but I’m starting to sound dumb here, my left shoulder started in.  Now I have chronic pain, don’t take the damn arm seriously.  Ever.  No, it doesn’t matter that it’s my right shoulder and not my left shoulder that acts up.  Chronic pain.  All joints prone.  Major weather changes at that.  OHIO!  OHIO WEATHER!  (I’m seriously not a fan of calling weather “bipolar”, btw but if I was…)

So I kept everything in mind, because I’m not dumb, but I weighed in my age and other risk factors (recently declared perfect blood pressure and cholesterol levels, but kind of sort of fat) and decided I’d give it some time.

Then with great stupidity, I ordered dinner.  The following is pretty much directly off twitter since it is quite hilarious, as long as you don’t know about the earlier heart attack symptoms.

See, when a Chinese restaurant takes the time to warn you that something is spicy, they don’t mean Wendy’s spicy chicken, spicy.  In fact, I’m fairly certain that the dish in question was more Vietnamese and less Chinese.  And the ability it gave me to breath fire, my husband informed me, was thanks to the liberal use of ghost pepper seeds.  And I can now from experience tell you that ghost pepper is named for its ability to turn diners into restless souls searching for cold water.  Water doesn’t help, just to clarify.

Also, damn that stuff was good.

And?  Not a peep from my stomach, or heart since.  See, the way I figured, it was indigestion and eating something spicy would give my stomach to chew on, or I was indeed having a heart attack and this would fix my indecision.  Either way, I’d know.

And I do know.

I know that when the Chinese restaurant takes the time to tell you something is spicy, they are referring to something more than your local fast food joint’s seasoned sandwich.

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Baked Noms

Posted June 5, 2012 By kmarrs

Having mastered the best muffins ever, and succeeding in a cake, I got creative.

Image courtesy of Real Mom Kitchen, who also provided the idea.

I took her from scratch version and did my “I can’t really bake yet” twist.  As in I used Bisquick and followed their recipe for pancakes.  Then I followed her instructions for how full to fill the muffin tin and how long to bake at what temp. (1/2, 15 min, 400F).

They are in the oven as we speak!  So nope.  No clue how they turned out.

But once out, if not a chaotic mess, I’m going to fill the crater with pure fruit jam, and then add a thin layer of powdered sugar over top.

And since my test audience is a 4yo and a 9mo, I’m guessing popular opinion will be that they turned out just fine!

And should we all three agree they turned out fantastic, I’ll increase the size and age bracket of my test audience.

Or I’ll go back and figure out what I did wrong.

You know, one of the two.

Meanwhile, you should join me on pintrest and help me brainstorm ideas of how to indulge my sweet tooth and sabotage my waistline.  We just need to make sure it’s worth it!  (Hint: It always is.)

 

Edit 30 minutes later: So.  Don’t use the Bisquick.  I’m assuming the posted recipe would have turned out right.  But my easier version was a pancake ball, not a pancake crater that could hold goodness.  Don’t get me wrong, we still ate them.  I mean, my test audience didn’t care what they looked like and we still smothered them in fruit and powdered sugar.  (Ok not Samtron’s.)  And so they did taste good.  They just looked not so very pretty.  And when the above picture is what you are aiming for…

Also.  Note to self:  Always assume I need to use cooking spray.  My muffin tin is about as non-stick as super glue.

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Smells Good in Here!

Posted May 16, 2012 By kmarrs

I’m attempting baking.  Which, I’ve spent almost 30 years getting burned every dam time I’ve gone near the oven.  So this whole baking thing is a development that scares people.  But, I’ve invested in aloe and some mixes and I’m going in.

I spent the first half of my marriage living with my mom and husband.  My husband can cook, my mom can bake, I never went hungry.

The second half of my marriage was spent living with my dad.  My husband can cook, my dad can bake, I never went hungry.

But, with the up and coming changes in living situation, one of us had to master baking.  Granted, my husband is by no means bad at it, it just isn’t his area.

It took me a while to figure out how exactly that works.  Then it dawned on me: Bakers measure every damn thing.  Cooks laugh at your measuring cups.

I can measure.  I mean, it’s math.  I can do math!  Dammit, I’m going to learn how to bake!

I’ve made 2 cakes, which have turned out interesting.  Um.  Despite a perfectly level oven and baking rack.  Despite perfect placement in the center of the oven.  It never fails that the half of the cake, length wise, closest to the oven door is baked up to the top of the pan, and the other half is about a quarter of an inch high and not so very fluffy.  It’s more crispy.

It boggles minds.  Cakes have been baked in there before and between.  So, it’s me.

The sugar cookies last night were decent.  And I have bought what will be needed to make them perfect.

Tonight’s blueberry cheesecake muffins are still in there.  Someone is listening for my timer, yes?  (Scratch that.  They just came out.  They need to cool while I edit this, but they look and smell divine.)

So far I’m sticking to mixes.  I need to master the basics before I get too creative.  The best way I can admit my inept is that about 3 weeks ago, my husband taught me how to grease a cake pan with butter then coating it with flour.  (I’m sorry mom.  I knew you weren’t done with me before he stole me away.  Thank jeebus he can cook at least, yes?  I’d starve otherwise.)

So.  I’m mastering mixes.  Then maybe later in the year, I’ll get creative with thinking outside the box.  Any fun ideas?  Ignore the whole “diet”.  I’m balancing this crap with lots and lots of fresh veggies.  So we’re good.  Promise.

Alright.  Off to devour some muffins!

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